Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

As soon as I discovered Rainbow Rowell had written a graphic novel, I put it on the hold list for the library. Of course it’s a First Second publication – all the best graphic novels seem to come from them these days.

Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks

Published: 2019

Genre: YA fiction graphic novel

Length: 211

Setting: a pumpkin patch in October, present day

Summary: Short version: Two friends spend their last day working together at the pumpkin patch Continue reading

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The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon

This is the third book in the Lord John Grey spinoff of the Outlander series. I was in the mood for some historical fiction.

Published: 2012

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 560 pages

Setting: Ireland and England, 1760

Summary: Short version: Lord Grey brings court martial charges against Lord Siverly and uncovers a Jacobite plot Continue reading

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Our history time period for this year of school runs from the 1600s to 1850. As part of school, I try to read stories that are set in that time period. Since we finished our last read aloud right around Halloween, I thought “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” might be thematically fitting in multiple dimensions.

Published: 1820 originally, which means you can read it online for free, but I read it as part of the collection of Irving short stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

Genre: gothic short story

Length: 32 pages

Setting: Tarry Town, NY, in the Hudson River Valley, early 1800s

Summary: Short version: We learn of the mysterious disappearance of the teacher, Ichabod Crane Continue reading

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The Boy Who Was Mistaken for a Fairy King by H.L. Fullerton

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review. It comes from Annorlunda Press, who specializes in entertaining books that make you think. The book was published today.

Published: today! 2019

Genre: fantasy novella

Length: 122 pages

Setting: the Catskills, NY, present day

Summary: Short version: Carl seems to be usurping the erlking’s role, which leads to consequences Continue reading

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Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

It was recommended by The Modern Mrs. Darcy as a diverse books read and a good read aloud if you like Wonder. We did, so I thought I’d read it to the kids as a contrast to our last book.

Published: 2010

Genre: middle grade fiction

Length: 295 pages

Setting: somewhere about a six hour drove from Washington, D.C., recent past (when MySpace was still a thing)

Summary: Short version: Melody’s life with cerebral palsy changes when she gets a communication computer Continue reading

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The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society by T. Kingfisher

Now that I finished my book of short stories, I need a new source of short stories to review on Mondays. I thought I’d finish reviewing the short stories that were nominated for the Hugo Awards. I got all the Locus Award nominees reviewed, so it’s on to another award.

Published: some time in 2018 at Uncanny Magazine, where you can either read or listen to the story for free

Genre: fantasy short story

Setting: fairyland and the British Isles, some time ago

Summary: Short version: Rose MacGregor’s fairy lovers meet to remember her

Long version: The story is told as a series of reminiscences between a group of fae. Each on of them was Rose MacGregor’s lover at some point. They’re all used to loving and leaving behind a woman who pines after them. Instead they’re pining after Rose, even the pooka and the bull selkie. She used them all soundly, usually enticing them with a story about a lost sheep, and then sent them on their way.

Final thoughts: Oh such a fun story. Definitely for the adults among us, since all the sex is implied. If you’re too young and read the story, you’re going to miss most of the underlying threads since it’s all innuendo. Kingfisher (who is the pseudonym of Ursula Vernon when she’s writing for adults) puts in delightful bits of humor like this line:

“Excuse me! I am a pooka! We drown people! None of this waiting around for them to die of a broken heart! We are efficient!”

I’ve reread the story three more times just writing this review and it continues to be delightful. There’s even a bit at the end where we meet Rose in her 60s with a granddaughter who can probably trace her lineage back to the selkie. Go do yourself a favor and check it out – it’s short and free online.

Title comes from: A group of fae get together every year and drink to the memory of Rose MacGregor


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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This is the first book in a series the kids have read and Miss Adventure has been trying to get me to read. I finally got around to it because I was looking for something a bit lighter to read.

Published: 2012

Genre: YA science fiction

Length: 387 pages

Setting: New Beijing, about 100 years in the future

Summary: Short version: Prince Kai has to deal with a plague while avoiding marriage to the Lunar Queen Continue reading

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